12 Week Immunisation Reactions and Goodbye Swimming Lessons and Zoo Membership

When I first started to think back to last week for this post I felt mentally exhausted and could mostly remember the tears from Baby Boy caused by his injections reaction. The injections weren’t until Thursday though so I had to think back and look at photographs to remember what else happened, it turns out it wasn't such a bad week. 

Family Selfie at the zoo

Enjoying The Sunshine

We have had some lovely sunny days this week which have been great for going on mini adventures. After nursery one day we found some birds nesting in an old lamp post, we have been playing in the garden and inspecting every single front garden between our house and the corner shop. It can take an incredibly long time to get anywhere on foot, but it is lovely when the sun is shining and I can spare the time to see the world through my youngest daughter’s eyes. She does expect me to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of flowers though and I fear I’m not living up to her expectations.

A toddler stopped outside a house looking at the flowers in their front garden
Stopping to check out the flowers on our walk

A toddler pointing at a shadow from railings that looks like a cat waving
Look it's a cat!

Toddler in the garden with a net in one hand and a spade in the other

Thursday was a super busy day and the turning point of the week

On Thursday morning we headed off to our nearest polling station to vote in the European Elections. I’m not going to dwell on that because I don’t think it’s a good idea to get political on here and it all feels a bit hopeless.

Then we headed off to the local school for their nursery open day. Little has a space at the school nursery from September, but we hadn’t actually visited it before. She spent a great hour or so playing with the huge selection of toys and she is now pretty excited to go there everyday. It was nice to see that there were some children from her current nursery who will also be moving over in September as well as someone I met when I went to a baby group. It reminded me of how much I love living in Loughton and how I feel part of a community despite the size of the town.

I had to head off quickly from the open day to go to the doctors for Baby Boy’s injections. These were his delayed 12 weeks jabs which generally don’t cause children much bother, unfortunately Baby Boy didn’t get the memo. After a huge sleep Thursday afternoon Baby Boy had a raised temperature (about 37.9 degrees celsius) and was generally miserable for a few days. On Friday he struggled to nap (not helped by Little having an inset day) so he got progressively more miserable. By the end of the day I was struggling to handle the constant crying. Even when he was asleep in my arms he would wake up every minute or so to let out a little cry.

Me and my youngest two children next to a polling station sign after voting in the european elections

Close up of baby boy with a dummy in and blotchy from crying from feeling poorly after 12 week immunisations

A Sunny Day at Colchester Zoo

On Saturday we headed to Colchester Zoo because our membership is ending at the end of May. I love it there and I think the membership is good value, but with our current finances it isn’t a priority. We had planned to go on one last visit on Saturday so it was a relief the weather was so lovely. 

We said “hello” to all our favourite animals including the elephants, pygmy hippos, chimpanzees and red panda. Sadly in the last 5 visits we haven't yet managed to catch the bears and on this occasion we didn't get to see the orangutan which always remind me of Ludo from Labyrinth (I totally want to watch that now, I wonder if it is suitable for a 3 year old?).

Colchester Zoo has a good selection of play areas, but most of them are best suited for age 4 or 5 upwards. The best one for younger children is at the far end of the zoo beyond the giraffes and elephants, this was closed last time we went because they were redoing it so it was good to see the improvements on this visit. There is now more for little ones to do and we spent quite a while there.

The one thing we don't like about Colchester Zoo is the price of the food so we try and be organised to bring a picnic. The food is a comparable price to most days out, but when you have membership and are going for a cheap day out spending £30 on food stops it being cheap (even with the 10% off you get with membership). We got a large drink and chips to share at the restaurant just as you go in because I was really hungry and then we had ice creams later in the day. I was excited to see they now have Vegan Magnums as well as the the Swedish Glace ice creams. We had the ice creams on the viewing platform overlooking the giraffes, rhinos, ostrich and zebra, it's the best place to sit in the zoo I think, but never that busy because it's a bit hidden.

Baby Boy was struggling again at times especially as he got more tired. He didn't seem to be able to nap with so much going on and he would only take short feeds. The journey home was painful because he cried pretty much the whole way, but at least there wasn’t a repeat of the way there when Little was sick everywhere. She gets travel sickness, but not usually on short journeys so we think it was caused by her cough. Either way I was grateful that she hadn’t eaten her porridge too long before we left home and the car doesn't smell.

A Toddler dressed ready for a sunny day at the zoo walking with the colchester zoo map

Toddler with her blue Jellycat elephant in front of elephants at Colchester zoo

Toddler pressed up against a fish tank at Colchester Zoo

Feeding the goats at Colchester zoo

Toddler watching the bush dogs while waiting for the land train at colchester zoo

Last Swimming Lesson for Baby Boy

Baby Boy had the last of his block of 5 swimming lessons on Sunday. After the previous 3 days this was just what I needed: he spent the whole half hour smiling, laughing and splashing around. The lessons take place in a hydrotherapy pool at a local school so they are lovely and warm. We were lucky enough to have the lessons paid for as part of our Konfidence Baby Ambassador role and I would love to continue them, but even though he loves the lessons they cost a lot of money for something he won’t remember. Instead I’m hoping we can make the commitment to take all 3 children swimming regularly.

Dribbly but smiling baby boy on playmat with mummy

Work Frustrations

Needless to say I didn’t get quite as much work done as I would have liked thanks to Baby Boy needing extra cuddles. Sadly though I did have the frustration of seeing an ad campaign some of my friends were involved in getting negative attention. I was saddened to see judgement from other bloggers who didn’t have all the information about the campaign. It’s tough because many of the bloggers I know are blogging to bring in income while being a stay at home mum because it is one of the few jobs we can do flexibly around our children. Like any self employed position the work is unreliable, it can be a challenge to get invoices paid and it requires a lot of effort. If we are offered or committed to a campaign and it turns out to be something that we aren’t entirely comfortable with it can be hard to turn down the money, especially if it for a brand that ultimately we do like. Being authentic is hugely important to me and I will never recommend something just because I am paid to. I don’t want parents to waste their money on anything and I would feel awful if my recommendations caused them to do so, but sometimes brands we love come up with bad marketing campaigns.

This week is half term and although I don’t have M until Wednesday evening I still have Little off nursery so it will be a louder week than normal. I’m trying to plan a few activities that will hopefully give Little the attention she needs and allow Baby Boy to get enough sleep that he is a happy boy again.

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